Scales


How Do I Start Learning Scales?

Most of the lessons in this blog are designed for fairly advanced guitarists, and rather a lot of them have something to do with scales. I wanted to write something for what I call the Beginning Intermediate player, who's ready to start learning scales but isn't sure what the roadmap looks like. I hope this will also give you an idea of how I ordinarily approach this subject with students, although since evrybody's different and I don't have a one-size-fits-all "programme" there's bound to be lots of room for variation.

Harmonic Minor Modes: The Dorian #4

A lot of guitarists know the Harmonic Minor scale and one of its modes,the Phrygian Major. Yet this scale, like the major scale, has seven modes in its group and the others are less frequently talked-about. We'll run a post on each of them over the next few weeks, starting with the Dorian #4.

Some Whole Tone Scale Applications

In the past couple of posts we've looked at fingerings for the Whole Tone scale and a few examples of patterns we can use to play around with it, but perhaps you're not convinced yet. After all, plenty of guitarists know how to play this scale but not many use it because it has a pretty weird, unsettling sound.

Whole-Tone Scale Patterns

In a previous post we looked at whole-tone scale fingerings, but I didn't give you any suggestions about what order to play the notes in or how to use different techniques with the scale. This post will fill in that gap and hopefully prepare us well for thinking about how the scale can be applied. I'll miss out the most obvious ways to play the fingerings in the previous post -- straight up and down using normal picking technique, that is.

Four Notes Per String from Three-Notes-Per-String Patterns

Three-note-per-string patterns are extremely useful for playing heptatonic scales such as those in the major, harmonic minor and melodic minor modal groups. In the previous lesson we looked at some different patterns we can use to play these to break up the usual straight-up-and-down approach. In this we look at some more.

Three-Notes-Per-String Patterns and Factorials

This lesson and the ones that come after it are about working out the possible orders in which you can play patterns involving 3, 4 or more notes per string. Before we get into that, let's look at an example of what I mean.

Whole-Tone Scale Fingerings

Many guitarists know how to play a whole-tone scale, but not many use it. I've got some ideas for how to use this scale in upcoming posts, but here we'll cover some different ways to get it under your fingers.